City Investment of $3.5 Million Will Support Local Apparel Manufacturing, Emerging Fashion Designers and the Creation of Quality Jobs
Deputy Mayor for Housing and Economic Development Alicia Glen, New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) President Kyle Kimball, Manufacture New York CEO Bob Bland and Salmar Properties Co-Founder Marvin Schein today announced the creation of the Manufacturing Innovation Hub for Apparel, Textiles + Wearable Tech, an innovative fashion manufacturing and design hub in Sunset Park, Brooklyn. Located at the privately-operated Liberty View Industrial Plaza, the Manufacturing Innovation Hub will occupy 160,000 square feet to provide research, design, development and manufacturing resources for New York’s emerging designers and apparel manufacturers. The City of New York, via NYCEDC, will invest $3.5 million through its Industrial Modernization Initiative (IMOD) to allow for the fit-out, modernization and subdivision of the currently-vacant space. Deputy Mayor Glen, NYCEDC President Kimball, Manufacture New York CEO Bland and Salmar Properties’ Marvin Schein were joined at today’s announcement by State Senator Velmanette Montgomery, State Senator Martin J. Golden, and Deputy Borough President Diana Reyna.
“We are focused on making investments that are going to spur innovation, create good jobs and keep New York City competitive,” said Deputy Mayor for Housing and Economic Development Alicia Glen. “Fashion and manufacturing aren’t just legacy industries, they are rapidly evolving parts of our economy that are adapting new technologies and changing every day. Here in Sunset Park, working with our private sector partners, we’re ensuring companies at the cutting edge of these industries can grow and innovate right here in New York City.”
“The creation of the Manufacturing Innovation Hub represents the nexus of our efforts to support two key elements of the City’s economy—the manufacturing sector and the fashion industry—and to develop Sunset Park as a hotbed of innovative business,” said NYCEDC President Kyle Kimball. “We are committed to ensuring sustainable growth in these traditional industries, and connecting New York City businesses and people to the space, resources and opportunity they need to succeed in a 21st century economy.”
The creation of the Manufacturing Innovation Hub represents the City’s commitment to supporting the fashion and manufacturing sectors, key traditional New York City industries, by encouraging innovation and partnership between the public and private sectors. In addition to furthering the City’s status as a global fashion capital and providing much-needed affordable industrial space, the Hub also marks the continued development of Sunset Park as an innovation cluster, where a diverse mix of manufacturing businesses are locating and growing—often by leveraging advanced technologies in their operations. Approximately 300 jobs in 20-30 businesses, including designers, manufacturers and related industries, are anticipated to be housed at the facility.
The Hub will include:
- A workforce development center to help train skilled workers who can earn good-paying jobs
- A research and development center to help develop new fashion and wearable technology capabilities
- A small-run factory specializing in sample making
- A design accelerator to create an educated pipeline of fashion and manufacturing talent
- Incubator space containing 12 private studios, classroom space, conference rooms, a computer lab, an industrial sewing room, storage, and work areas for 50 designers
The Manufacturing Innovation Hub will also be the new headquarters of Manufacture New York, which is relocating from elsewhere within Liberty View Industrial Plaza. Previously, Manufacture New York operated a pilot fashion incubator in Manhattan’s Garment Center.
“Thanks to the tireless support of City Hall, NYCEDC, and local elected leaders, New York’s fashion manufacturers will have access to world class industrial space and infrastructure at prices they can afford,” said Manufacture New York Founder and CEO Bob Bland. “We will work inclusively with established fashion industry veterans, non-profit and community partners, educational institutions, and the incredibly diverse community of emerging designers and local manufacturers to lay the foundation for tremendous change in our industry. We believe that creating a comprehensive system of mentorship, training and support, while working together to solve 21st century problems in our supply chains and the fashion ecosystem, will bring long-term, sustainable growth to the New York City economy.”
“Salmar Properties, owner of Liberty View Industrial Plaza, is proud to be a part of the growth and retention of jobs in the New York City fashion industry,” said Salmar Properties Co-Founder Marvin Schein. “Salmar Properties has invested close to $100 million in a complete renovation of the former Federal Building #2. Liberty View is now the most modern/high tech industrial facility in the City and serves as the transformative building in Sunset Park. Our vision is to promote job creation in New York and to develop Liberty View as the new hub for the City’s fashion industry that is being squeezed out of Manhattan by high rents and lack of space.”
“This collaborative effort between NYCEDC, Manufacture New York and Salmar Properties will allow small business manufacturers such as Johnny’s Fashion Studio to expand for growth,” said Joann Kim, co-owner of local manufacturer Johnny’s Fashion Studio. “It will provide us with opportunity to invest in technology that makes for faster pattern making and cutting, train skilled labor to provide the highest quality in sewing, educate young pattern makers to become masters, and provide services closer than ever to target prices of young designers without the pressure of paying premium rent.”
“Being a part of Manufacture New York is being a part of something bigger than me and my line,” said Brennan Manuel, founder and designer of local fashion brand 6AM Clothing. “There is a lot of grey area in the fashion industry and it is imperative for up-and-coming designers to be part of a community of likeminded pioneers such as Manufacture New York. I believe that Manufacture New York is the future of the fashion industry in this country, and the Manufacturing Innovation Hub will be a tremendous benefit to New York City.”
“We are thrilled to know that our city and Manufacture New York have finally finalized the long awaited project of the Manufacturing Innovation Hub in Sunset Park Brooklyn,” said Chung Yu, Chief Financial Officer of local manufacturer MCM Enterprise. “With increasing rent, the high cost of manufacturing and a forever diminishing work force, the fashion industry in America has been on life support for over a decade. This program will benefit many domestic fashion manufacturers and designers. It will finally give manufacturers and designers a chance to be more competitive with the rest of the world. We are grateful someone is finally doing something to help our industry’s future generations by providing the necessary resources to grow and produce more jobs. We appreciate the great work and will support this great cause.”
“This is an exciting opportunity to develop a state-of-the-art industrial manufacturing center that will enable NYC manufacturers to thrive and expand their current businesses,” said U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand. “This facility will bring a much needed creative and industrial hub for designers, manufacturers, and tech innovators that will reinvigorate local communities and create new jobs.”
“I’m proud to support the renewal of this formerly abandoned warehouse, finding new uses for the facility and creating economic opportunity along the way,” said United States Representative Nydia M. Velázquez. “This fashion incubator and factory will draw talent and small manufacturers, while creating well-paying local jobs. This project is another example of how Sunset Park’s waterfront can once again be a beehive of economic activity.”
“I am thrilled with the continuing redevelopment and enhancement of this major manufacturing development,” said United States Representative Jerrold Nadler. “For over the last thirteen years, community stakeholders, Representative Velazquez, and myself, worked tirelessly to save this former federal building for manufacturing jobs, and today, is another great day as the City announces funding to subdivide and modernize 160,000 square feet of space for small fashion manufacturers. I congratulate Mayor de Blasio and Deputy Mayor Glen on their commitment to manufacturing and industrial jobs, and am pleased to have been a long-time supporter of this project.”
“The Manufacturing Innovation Hub is an exciting 21st Century public/private partnership that will further develop the City’s commitment to the ever maturing fashion manufacturing sector,” said Brooklyn Borough President Eric L. Adams. “In what is currently dormant space, there will be an eruption of the fashion industry – creating a modern Garment District here in Brooklyn. Entrepreneurs will have access to research, design, development, and manufacturing resources that will streamline their process.”
“The announcement of available—and accessible—space for fashion manufacturing in Sunset Park is great news for our community,” said Council Member Carlos Menchaca. “Our City is one that is no stranger to the power of fashion and manufacturing as strongholds of culture, employment, and resources for our communities. The City Council’s historic partnership with NYCEDC and with private industrial owners allow New York City to be attractive to business sectors that create good local jobs, and help to incentivize the growth of local economies. This is a welcome step toward the revitalization of our City’s industrial character.”
“I am very excited by this investment by the City of New York in the future of Liberty View, Sunset Park, and all of Brooklyn manufacturing!” said State Senator Velmanette Montgomery. “Reviving our industrial base will strengthen our economy and offer new opportunities for our citizens in this economic sector. Thank you, Mayor de Blasio and the New York City Economic Development Corporation!”
“New York City was the heart of manufacturing in our country at one time, and through efforts in the City, State, and the private sector, we are once again making gains,” said State Senator Martin J. Golden. “By eliminating the manufacturer’s tax in April, we are making our city and state more business friendly. Opening up a fashion incubator and 110,000 square feet of manufacturing space is not only good for Brooklyn, it’s good for New York City, and it’s good for the fashion industry. This vital industry has been growing exponentially in Brooklyn, and we are happy to have new neighbors. I look forward to continuing to work with the City to help expand manufacturing inside the City of New York.”
“I welcome the new Manufacturing Innovation Hub to Sunset Park’s Liberty View Industrial Plaza,” said State Assemblyman Félix Ortiz. “Sunset Park is a destination community quickly becoming one of the hottest places to to business in New York City. This is another major step forward for our community, a place where businesses, residences and visitors make out city a better place.”
“We need to make sure we are protecting manufacturing and creating opportunities for growth,” said Council Member Dan Garodnick. “The City needs to stand up for its manufacturing spaces — new and old — and these kinds of investments are an important indication that we will.”
IMOD was created in partnership with the New York City Council to encourage the continued growth of the manufacturing sector by incentivizing private industrial owners to transform underutilized assets into space designed to support small businesses, which typically employ approximately one to 10 people, occupy less than 5,000 square feet, and comprise the fastest-growing element of the City’s industrial ecosystem. These companies often are too small for industrial floorplates on the market, so NYCEDC issued a Request for Proposals seeking transformative projects to address this gap. NYCEDC jointly selected Manufacture New York and Salmar Properties, which operates Liberty View Industrial Plaza, to undertake this project. The $3.5 million investment from the City directly supports the 110,000 square feet dedicated to job-intensive active manufacturing use. A total of $8 million is available through IMOD, with future allocations to be determined.
Manufacture New York, which will operate the Hub, is a Brooklyn-based company that facilitates fashion manufacturing in New York City. It seeks to reawaken and rebuild the fashion industry, foster the next wave of businesses, and create a transparent, sustainable global supply chain. Its Workforce Development Center, in collaboration with the Southwest Brooklyn Industrial Development Corporation, will provide opportunities for both entry-level and advanced technical career pathways in a range of apparel-related sectors, with 50 designers receiving training and product development assistance in the Manufacturing Innovation Hub’s incubator space.
Liberty View Industrial Plaza is a 1.1 million square foot, 8-story industrial building along the Sunset Park waterfront. Formerly known as Federal Building #2, in 2011 the property was transferred to the City, with critical support from U.S. Representatives Jerrold Nadler and Nydia Velazquez, after more than a decade of vacancy. The building was subsequently leased via a competitive RFP process to Salmar Properties, who has since completed significant renovations to the facility, including a new roof, windows, façade, and utilities. The majority of current tenants engage in light manufacturing.
The Manufacturing Innovation Hub builds upon the City’s suite of fashion initiatives, including the Fashion Manufacturing Initiative, a public-private program designed to support and promote the growth of small businesses in the City’s fashion and manufacturing sectors, as well as seed funding for the CFDA Fashion Incubator, professional mentorship in design and fashion management, and networking and educational programs. The City’s fashion industry accounts for nearly 6 percent of the city’s workforce, paying $10.9 billion in wages, and generating nearly $2 billion in tax revenue annually. New York City’s wholesale fashion market is one of the world’s largest, attracting more than 500,000 visitors per year to its trade shows, showrooms and fashion shows. Overall, the industry garners more than $18 billion in retail sales, $72 billion in wholesale sales, and $8 billion in manufacturing sales annually. The city’s semi-annual Fashion Weeks draw approximately 232,000 attendees to more than 500 shows, creating a total economic impact of $887 million.